Canadian international Kamal Miller is killing it in the kitchen these day.
The Orlando City SC defender, filming at home during the pandemic, has done Cooking with K Millz videos on breakfast (pancakes, omelette, bacon and a smoothie), as well as a shrimp pasta with salad entree.
While the 22-year-old defender from Toronto keeps it simple, he is an enthusiastic chef. Mr. Miller is willing to try flipping pancakes on camera and not afraid to get his hands in a bowl as needed.
Mr. Miller is also not averse to doing a little dance on camera during a lull in cooking. And he’s willing to share tips.
Such as singing the praises of paprika. “I like this because it gives a lot of colour.” Or to counsel adding some oomph to dishes with a dash of Island Grill seasoning.
Perhaps most impressive is the fact that the food looks good when he’s finished.
“It’s definitely a lot of fun during quarantine, while being locked down in the house,” Mr. Miller said of the cooking videos.
In normal times, the defender takes home meals from the MLS club’s dining room.
“But without those meals I’ve had to go back to my college days when I was cooking every day for myself,” he said. “Really that’s when it started.
“I do have a passion for cooking. Day by day, week by week, I try to expand and try new things.”
Some of those recipes will likely make it to future videos put out by the club. “Hopefully sooner than later,” he said.
He turned to the cooking videos after the club’s media team asked for content during the pandemic.
“The first one came out pretty well and got a good response so I did the second one,” he said. “And again it seems like more and more people are gravitating towards it so I’m going to keep it up and see where it takes me.”
Mr. Miller says growing up the family finances were tight. So cooking was big at his house with his grandmothers – one from Trinidad and Tobago and the other from Jamaica – big influences in the kitchen.
“They were always cooking island food, so I was always around in the kitchen when they were cooking. I guess it just came natural, my passion for cooking, watching them.”
Mr. Miller films the video on his iPhone and then sends the footage to Derek Cody, the club’s director of video production, who edits it and adds suitable music.
Mr. Miller’s roommate, forward Benji Michel, also helps out in the kitchen outside of filming.
“I think he might have to make a cameo. He can be my sous chef,” Mr. Miller said a little mischievously.
He says he has got a mixed reaction from other teammates. Some had no idea he could cook.
“From a young guy, they expect to make a run to Chipotle every day or something like that,” he said. “So the fact that they saw [the videos], some were quite impressed and some found it quite amusing.”
Mr. Miller may not have so much time on his hands now that Orlando has started individual player workouts outdoors at its training centre.
Orlando drafted Mr. Miller 27th over all in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft after four years at Syracuse, during which he started 78 games. He saw action in 16 games for Orlando last season, including 14 starts.
Mr. Miller has won five caps for Canada, with four starts.